Illinois will see the effects of several significant legislative changes over the next year. In this article we have complied information about a few of the new laws that will be put into effect in the coming months. These include new laws and amendments in education, employment law, and minimum wage requirements. We hope that this information will be relevant to many of the clients we serve in Marion, IL and the surrounding areas. Please contact Prince Law Firm with any further questions about the content of this article. We always welcome conversations about the legal matters that are important to you and your family.
Changes in Education Laws
The TEAACH Act
The signing of Illinois SB 648 enacted The Teaching Equitable Asian American History (TEAACH) Act. This makes Illinois the first state in the country to require that Asian American and Pacific Islander history be taught to students in public schools. Beginning in the 2022-2023 school year, public elementary and high school students will learn from new curriculum that covers topics specific to Asian American traditions and cultural contributions. Classes will focus particularly on the history of Asian people in Illinois and the Midwest. The curriculum aims to provide a better understanding of the integral role that Asian people groups played in American history, and works to combat false stereotypes.
Culturally Responsive Teaching and Leading (CRTL) Standards
October 2021 saw the first application of Illinois’ newly amended Culturally Responsive Teaching and Leading (CRTL) Standards that are to be fully incorporated by October 2025. These standards aim toward more cohesive and productive student development. Teachers and leaders are expected to be reflective and work toward a deeper understanding of themselves and how they impact others.
The law states that the culturally responsive teacher and leader will recognize that there is often not one “correct” way of doing or understanding something, will affirm the validity of students’ backgrounds and identities, will know about their students and their lives outside of school, will educate themselves about students’ communities, cultures, and histories, and will uphold other standards as defined by the CRTL amendments.
Pending School Code Amendments 2022-2023
Amendments to the Illinois school code proposed in Illinois HB 3173 will begin going into effect July 2022 if passed into law. Multiple changes to the existing school code include the addition of a gun safety course for students, and the addition of bullying and the death of a family member as factors that a student may disclose when facing a suspension review hearing or expulsion hearing. Additional stipulations require that a student facing allegations of sexual violence or gender-based harassment be barred from contact with the alleged victim. Other school code changes aim to provide better support and protection for students who are parents or expectant parents, and those who have been victims of domestic or sexual violence.
Amendments to Laws for Employers
Several laws regulating employer requirements and employer-employee relations were signed by Governor J.B. Pritzker in Illinois this year. The following changes will go into effect on January 1, 2022:
- Illinois SB 1600. The Illinois Lodging Services Human Trafficking Recognition Training Act enacted in 2020 is now extended to require that all restaurant and truck stop employees (in addition to hotel, motel, and lodging employees) receive mandatory training about how to recognize the signs of human trafficking and how to report it to the proper authority.
- Illinois SB 2486. A person’s employer (or former employer) may not disclose information about a disciplinary report, a letter of reprimand, or any other disciplinary action to a third party. If an employer violates this law, the employee (or former employee) may file a complaint or take legal action in court within three years of the violation. This amendment was made to the Illinois Personnel Record Review Act.
- Illinois SB 672. Amendments to the Illinois Freedom to Work Act prohibit employers from entering into non-compete agreements with employees who earn less than $75,000 annually. This extends the original non-compete laws enacted in 2017 from being limited to “low wage” workers (paid minimum wage or $13/hour), now including higher wage earners in Illinois. This amount will increase to include workers earning $80,000 per year beginning on January 1, 2027, $85,000 beginning January 1, 2032, and $90,000 per year beginning on January 1, 2037.
- Illinois HB 117. This amendment to the Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program Act requires employers with at least five employees (rather than 25 or more employees, as previously required) to offer qualified retirement savings programs to its employees. Additionally, employees no longer are required to be at least 18 years of age to be qualified, and automatic increases to contribution amounts are included in the amendment.
- Illinois HB 3582. Amendments to the Illinois Victims’ Economic Security and Safety Act state that victims of violent crimes (including but no longer limited to domestic violence, sexual violence, and gender violence), as well as family members of violent crime victims, must be provided unpaid leave by their employers. Additionally, employees who take time off work for these reasons cannot be barred from receiving voluntary leave benefits.
Illinois Minimum Wage Requirements 2022-2025
Currently, Illinois has a minimum wage of $11.00 per hour for workers 18 years of age and older. Tipped employees have a minimum wage rate of $6.60 per hour, and youth employees under the age of 18 (working fewer than 650 hours per calendar year) must be paid $8.50 an hour or higher. These wage rates were put into effect January 1, 2021 by the Illinois Department of Labor.
The following minimum wage rate increases are scheduled for the next several years:
Illinois Minimum Wage Increases
- January 1, 2022: $12 per hour; $7.20 per hour for tipped employees; $9.25 for youths
- January 1, 2023: $13 per hour; $7.80 per hour for tipped employees; $10.50 for youths
- January 1, 2024: $14 per hour; $8.40 per hour for tipped employees; $12 for youths
- January 1, 2025: $15 per hour; $9 per hour for tipped employees; $13 for youths
Stay Informed of Your Legal Rights in Illinois
Our team at Prince Law Firm advocates for the rights of Illinois citizens. We are deeply connected with the laws that affect our everyday lives. As personal injury lawyers in Illinois, we work to inform, support, and advocate for the community around us when it comes to important legal issues. We make continuing efforts toward better safety, improved quality of life, and equal justice for every citizen of our community in Marion, IL and beyond.
It’s important to be aware of and understand the laws that define our rights and duties as residents of Illinois. We hope you will feel welcomed to begin a conversation with a member of our team if you have any questions about how our state laws apply to you and your family members.